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Report 1 July 2013

At home with water

The Water Energy Calculator is Great Britain’s most successful online tool to help households to understand their water use and identify potential savings. More than 100,000 households have benefitted from it, creating Britain’s biggest information resource on domestic water devices and behaviour. The analysis in this report provides a vivid picture of how we use water in our homes.

At Home with Water sheds new light on the nation’s water consumption: what devices we use, how we use them, and where they impact on our bills. It explores differences in water-using behaviour between metered and unmetered homes, and how progressive improvements such as dual-flush lavatories and eco-showerheads can reduce water consumption with little or no impact on the ‘bathroom experience’.

At Home with Water can reveal that showers are now the largest user of water in the home. Across Britain, we use in the order of 840 billion litres each year, and spend around £2.3 billion on heating water for showers. We can report that, every year, more than 740 billion litres – enough to fill 300,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools – is flushed down the loo. And our dishwashers and washing machines use 360 billion litres each year, costing households £1.6 billion in electricity bills.

A great many households are already making savings and making a difference – engaging in water saving behaviour, cutting their bills and conserving resources. But since the average home uses nearly 350 litres of water every day, there is still astonishing potential to save water, energy and utility bills through further change.